PUTZ: What's wrong?
One game does not make a month, but last night was not a good way to start June. Maybe the Ryan Church game in LA was worse, but it’s hard to image any more disheartening defeats than last night.
I’ve called the Mets a flawed team, and such was the case against the Pirates. The offense called it a game after the third inning and JJ Putz imploded in the eighth. Jerry Manuel didn’t help matters when he let the struggling Putz stay in after two or three hitters. It was obvious he wasn’t going to find the switch.
I wrote prior to the game that it was encouraging for the role players to step up and Reed and Valdez did that. However, role players are role players for a reason and the Mets need the return of their core big time.
We might not see Carlos Delgado this year and Jose Reyes is on the horizon. David Wright continues to slump, Carlos Beltran missed another game and there’s Putz.
The guy isn’t right. He needs to be looked at again and if something is wrong then go on the DL. He’s not doing anybody any good the way he is now.
Until Putz gets it together, Bobby Parnell should assume the eighth inning role as the bridge to Francisco Rodriguez.
We’ve heard for three years now how this team has little grit and an edge to it. I’d have to say, that’s not true right now. The Mets have won 18 of their last 26 games, and they’ve done it largely with a patchwork unit.
Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado are out; Carlos Beltran contributed little, and David Wright perhaps even less during the last homestand. Yet, won five of six, and counting the Boston series, have won seven of their last nine.
Should the Mets somehow get into the playoffs, this recent stretch could be looked on as a turning point.
The Mets start their roadtrip at Pittsburgh tonight, then go to Washington. These are teams they should beat. If the Mets are as good as they like to believe they are, they need to continue this run. It’s not about sweeping series, but winning them. If they keep winning two of three and three of four, they’ll be fine.
OK, for all of you who dissed me this winter about Adam Dunn, how would you like to have him now that Carlos Delgado is on the DL for who only knows how long? Word is Delgado could be out for a lot longer than two weeks, which only exposes what we already knew – the Mets had no contingency plans for first base.
It’s a reflection on the minor league system that there’s not a ready replacement for Delgado.
Unless the Mets know for sure Delgado will be out for an extended period, it makes no sense to unload the remaining blue chips on the minor league level for a first baseman. Besides, despite their recent run, the Mets’ rotation is due to expose itself as it did earlier this season and they’ll most likely be looking at acquiring pitching at the trade deadline. That’s where the chips should be spent.
Currently, the Mets are mixing according to the pitching match-ups between Jeremy Reed and Fernando Tatis. Neither are good enough to play fulltime, although Tatis has been playing well.
Moving Daniel Murphy to first – which also keeps Gary Sheffield’s bat in the line-up – has been discussed. But, should the Mets bite the bullet and stick in him there, or send him down to the minor leagues for a month at the position?
Delgado’s injury leaves a gaping hole in the middle of the batting order the Mets are trying to fill with the 40-year Sheffield, a player the Detroit Tigers were willing to pay millions of dollars to for just going away. Sheffield has been hot lately, but do you want to bet for how long it will last? If Delgado is gone for any length of time, David Wright will eventually assume the clean-up position in the order.
Jose Reyes will sit again tonight with a calf injury and was a topic of trade talk on the radio this afternoon. Can we get over it? Reyes isn’t going anywhere. Neither is David Wright or Carlos Beltran. I don’t care where the Mets finish in the standings.
In other news, Carlos Delgado’s hip isn’t getting any better and is ticketed for the disabled list. Also, Tim Redding is expected to be activated to start Monday’s game at Los Angeles.
Alex Cora, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Gary Sheffield, LF
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Church, RF
Jeremy Reed, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Livan Hernandez, P
Last night’s win was arguably the most satisfying of the season for the Mets. John Maine regrouped after a rocky start to give manager Jerry Manuel length and to stay out of his taxed and depleted bullpen.
The Mets also came from behind a couple of times which hasn’t been their MO this season. And, they did it without Carlos Delgado (who won’t be available tonight) and Jose Reyes.
Last night was important on so many levels beginning with the need to snap out of their funk after losing two of three to the Braves. They certainly couldn’t have afforded to follow up the Atlanta series with a loss last night and then face Tim Lincecum tonight. That’s how losing streaks begin.
David Wright, who is hot right now, told me Lincecum is the toughest pitcher he faces. The guy is good and I’m not expecting much offense from the Mets tonight.
I’ll be around later tonight for the game. Hope you’re all having a great day.